Teenage Innovator to Watch

Babatimilehin Daomi’s God-given talent could not be suppressed by his father. His feat in scientific and technological innovation has started earning him accolades even as a teenager, writes Peter Uzoho
He is just 15, but his career has already unfolded against the earlier wish of his father who was hell bent on making a lawyer out of him. Young Babatimilehin is the first son of his father, a lawyer and chauvinist of the legal profession, Barrister Olusoji Daomi. His father had
ruled that every son and daughter of his family must study law before venturing into any other field. Being bound by the family’s rule, he was forced to become an arts student which would naturally lead him to studying law after his senior secondary school, thereby satisfying the wish of his father.
Against his wish, he was playing along, managing to pay attention to arts lessons for peace to reign, and hoping to move to his natural field someday.
“Actually, my father is a lawyer and he wanted all of us to be lawyers as well. Unfortunately, I don’t have interest in Law. Though, I’m an art student, I will soon switch over to sciences so I can concentrate in science and technology classes,” Babatimilehin tells THISDAY.
But like the moon, his destiny could not be shielded by the rule for long. Babatimilehin’s in-born creativity in science and technology began to play out, often, to his father’s amazement. All the traits of an inventor which he was exhibiting right from his childhood started manifesting themselves gradually.
In just Senior Secondary II, he has constructed a number of technological machine prototypes. They include: spinning light, digital microscope, vacuum cleaner, phone charger, crude oil drilling machine, collapsible bridge, low range FM radio transmitter, motor bike and illusionary.
Showing all the things he has constructed, their useful purposes and the materials used to make them, young Babatimilehin said, “This is called spinning light. The light can be used for house decoration during festivities like Christmas and Easter. All you need to do is just to plug the cable in an energy socket to power the lead and the light comes up in a spinning mode, giving the interior of the house a bright look, he explains. “I used rotor, sticks and some lead to make it,” he said.
Another feat he achieved was the building of a mini digital microscope which he said came out of his effort to solving a problem he discovered in the public schools in Lagos State.
“I made this mini digital microscope. I discovered that the microscopes we have in public schools here in Lagos, provided by the Lagos State Government are analogue. For instance, when a teacher is trying to show the students that an insect has six legs and he uses an analogue microscope to demonstrate that, the students will not be able to see that at once. Rather, it will be one person after the other, viewing and telling others what he or she has seen. In this case, the result will not be seen by all at the same time; the result cannot be recorded; it cannot be stored, and the result cannot be printed. It means that others have to believe what they are told to be the result from the analogue microscope view of the insect, and it can lead to conflicting results.
“But when a digital microscope is used, it will afford all the students the opportunity of seeing the result at once on a computer screen. The action can be projected for all to see at once; it can be recorded, stored and printed in a hard copy. So that was why I decided to work on that. I made it with a CD Rom and microscope lens,” Babatimilehin explains.
“I made a vacuum cleaner. This vacuum cleaner is used for sweeping the floor. It sucks the dirt into it and after using it you dispose it into a waste bin. I made it with just aluminium sheet, rotor and some plastics.
“I also made a phone charger. I made it with a female battery charging pot. This one is just for emergency; if you travel and there is no electricity, you would have the micro-phone battery to fall back on. The battery can last for about four days and more. So if your phone battery is down you can easily change it with the micro phone battery,” he says.
Mentioning and giving details of some other things he built, Babatimilehin says, “This one is a crude oil drilling machine. It’s a mini drilling machine that is used to bring crude oil from the ground. I made it with some sticks, rotor, mechanism and some biro covers,” he tells THISDAY.
“I also constructed this collapsible bridge. It’s like the popular London Bridge that can open when a ship wants to pass and can close back when the ship has already gone. I made it with just paper, sticks and tarmac foam,” he explains.
“You can see a radio station. I constructed it after my visit to TV Continental, Lagos. I was invited by the station to come and speak to my fellow young ones and the youth during the last Children’s Day. So while I was there, I took time to look around the environment. I looked at all the components of the station and I was imagining how something like that could be made. When I came back I decided that I would construct it; that was how this radio station came about.
“I made an automated sliding door with plastics, sticks and mechanism. The door works as a lock; if you press the button the red light will show and it will open and if you press the button again the red light will show and it will close back,” the young inventor says.
Among other things he has constructed are power bike, water fountain, illusionary, toilet tissue dispenser, wireless energy transfer, portable USB fan and water level indicator.
These have started earning him awards and accolades from different organisations. On July 4, 2016, he was honoured with an award at Abuja by Kids and Teens with Outstanding Ability (KOLA), a non- governmental organisation, for his creative ingenuity. His school, Dobar Group of School, Maya, Ikorodu, gave him scholarship award for Great Science Inventions, to complete the remaining part of his secondary education in the school.
“I received an award for all these at Abuja just few weeks ago, precisely on July 4 from KOLA.I also received a scholarship on 23rd  July,2016, to complete my secondary education and a cash of N20,000 from my school, Dobar Group of School, Maya, Ikorodu, Lagos,” he says.
With all these, he has been able to win his father’s support to move fully into his chosen career.
Interestingly, Babatimilehin is guided by his daily prayer which is borne out of his desire to impact his country positively. “It is my hope and vision to make my country great. To produce and invent things we need and consume in my country. It is my dream to reduce our reliance on so-called developed countries and minimise the pressure on my country’s currency. I hope to put my country among the technologically developed countries in the world. So help me God,” he prays.
Telling THISDAY about his projection into future, he says, “I want to see myself as a great engineer constructing a lot of things. I want to see myself moving around the globe to see what developed countries have and the ones they don’t have so that I can invent them. I want to invent what does not exist for the benefit of mankind.”
Meanwhile, the young boy wants government to encourage the youths by providing an enabling environment for them to explore and showcase their potential for the growth of the nation, saying that more people should be sent to developed countries for training so that they would in turn impart the knowledge on others.
“I want the government to encourage the youth and the young ones. They should provide an enabling environment for us to showcase our ingenuity. They should be sending the youth and the young outside the country so that they can learn more about current trends in science and technology, which they will in turn come back to impart on others. I believe if we have more people that are well trained in these areas, our country will develop faster than it is today.”
However, Babatimilehin’s father, Olusoji Daomi spoke to THISDAY on how it all started.
“From beginning he has shown that trait of going into science. When he was a child, I could remember that each time I bought toys for him, instead of playing with them, he would rather try to loosen them, and trying to see what was inside that make them work. As small as he was, he would try to dismantle them and in the process, he would destroy them because he didn’t have that knowledge of loosening them with a screw. As a matter of fact, I don’t have screw in house; I don’t work with screw, I work with pen, paper and books,” he narrates.
“Initially, it was my intention that all my children would become lawyers because I love Law a lot, I love that profession. It’s what gives me great joy and passion so I insisted that all of them must be lawyers by default. I forced him into arts even when he had started showing interest in sciences he is still a happy man. “I’m not disappointed in anyway by his not obeying my wish of becoming a lawyer. I’m a kind of person that wants wherever my children are, they will be happy and they will excel. I’m too rigid, so I don’t like forcing someone to do what is not his or her wish just to please me and in the end he or she will not be happy. As my first son, I would have loved him to be a lawyer, but now that he has chosen his own profession, if I can encourage him and support him, I believe he can succeed; the bottom-line of what we’re looking for in life is success,” Daomi said.
Advising parents on making decisions on their children’s career, he said, “My advice to parents is that they should discover where the strength of their children lies. They should not be too rigid in ensuring that their will over their children prevails. It is the will of God for their children that will prevail and not their own will. So I encourage parents to support their children in any field they have chosen for themselves.”